Lie Chin Chin

Can I Adopt a Child in Singapore?

Welcoming a new member of the family is exciting and you may be anxious to know whether it is possible for you to adopt a child in Singapore. Naturally, you would want to be informed of the requirements for adoption in Singapore so that you can ensure that you are eligible to adopt a child. The following are the requirements to be able to adopt a child in Singapore.

1. You can only adopt a child

The person you want to adopt must be below 21 years old and who has never been married before.


2.You can only adopt a child who is a resident of Singapore


This means that the child must be a Singapore Citizen, a Permanent Resident or a Dependent’s Pass holder. However, if you wish to adopt a foreign child, you may find this learning article helpful – Adopting a Foreign Child.


3.You must be at least 25 years old or 21 years older than the child, and you cannot be more than 50 years older than the child


This age different requirement is the Court’s way of trying to ensure that the parent-child relationship is viable. However, the Court can decide to allow you to adopt the child even if you do not meet this requirement. This can happen if you and the child are related by blood, or if there are special circumstances which justify the adoption.


4.Generally, a sole male applicant cannot adopt a female child


The Court will allow an adoption in such a case in exceptional situations. One reason could be that the sole male applicant is the girl’s only living blood relative and they are closely related so the male applicant is trying to discharge his responsibilities to a young member of his extended family.


5. You must be resident in Singapore


This means that you must be a Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident or a holder of a pass which the Family Court finds deems you a resident in Singapore.


6. If you are joint applicants, you and the other applicant must be spouses.


7. If you are married but are seeking to adopt the child in your sole name, you must get spousal consent to the adoption


Spousal consent is rarely waived by the Court. This is because raising an adopted child would probably be unsustainable without the cooperation of your spouse.


8. Adoption must serve the welfare of the


ThisCourt must be convinced that granting an order for adoption will be for the child’s welfare. The Court will consider the child’s wishes while keeping in mind the child’s age and understanding of the situation.


9. You must obtain the consent of all persons or bodies connected to the child


Before being able to adopt the child, you must gain the consent of all persons who are a parent, guardian, or who has actual custody over, or who is liable to contribute to the support of the child.



Basically, anyone who has a substantial role in the upbringing of the child must consent to the adoption as the adoption will permanently deprive him or her of any parental rights.


10. There musts not have been payment in connection with the adoption
Unauthorised payment of money in connection with the adoption can be found to be an offence. This kind of offence would likely be in relation to the trafficking of children. If money was indeed paid, the Court must be notified and must approve of the payment.


If the child you wish to adopt is a foreign child, there are additional issues you must take note of. This learning article provides the relevant information on adoption of a foreign child – Adopting a Foreign Child.


After ensuring that you meet the requirements for adoption in Singapore, you may want to be informed of and be prepared for the various stages of adoption. We have summarized an insider’s look at the process of adoption in this learning article – The Process of Adoption in Singapore.


Although you can submit an application for adoption by yourself, it is advisable to obtain the advice and support of an experienced and trustworthy lawyer to support and advise you throughout the adoption process so that the adoption will be as smooth-sailing as possible.

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